Obama criticizes China for violating rights with new counterterrorism laws modeled after the Patriot Act
05/20/2016 / By newstarget / Comments
Obama criticizes China for violating rights with new counterterrorism laws modeled after the Patriot Act

(NaturalNews) Sometimes President Barack Obama can’t get out of the way of his own hypocrisy.

In December, the Chinese government implemented a “controversial” new counterterrorism law that some see as a means of tightening Beijing’s already tight control over the media and threaten intellectual property of foreign technology companies.

As reported by Agence-France Presse:

The country’s first anti-terror law comes as Beijing wages a controversial campaign to stamp out ethnic violence linked to the western Xinjiang region and works to tighten controls over political dissent online and on the ground.

The homeland of the mostly Muslim Uighur ethnic minority has been plagued by unrest in recent years, provoking China to launch a police crackdown on separatist “terrorists” it says are behind the violence.

In a bid to tamp down online communication that the communist government deemed contributory to the violence, drafts of the legislation have included measures that would require technology companies to install “backdoors” in applications and IT products, or turn over keys to encryption – measures that may threaten freedom of expression as well as intellectual property.

So concerned is Obama about the law’s provisions that he brought them up with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the latter’s state visit to the U.S. in September.

“Double standard”

Only, here’s the thing: China actually studied U.S. counterterrorism legislation in crafting their own version of the law. What’s more, the very “concerns” Obama has expressed – about the backdoors in IT products like routers, especially – he has supported in the U.S., and of course, in the name of “counterterrorism.”


In January, Obama came to the defense of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who was seeking the installation of electronic backdoors on IT products in the United Kingdom.

“Social media and the Internet is the primary way in which these terrorist organizations are communicating,” Obama said during a press conference with Cameron.

“That’s not different from anybody else, but they’re good at it and when we have the ability to track that in a way that is legal, conforms with due process, rule of law and presents oversight, then that’s a capability that we have to preserve,” he added.

FBI Director James Comey has called for them as well, and for the same reasons.

While the administration ultimately backed off its pursuit of backdoors, the Chinese – like millions of Americans – also point out that these “concerns” are coming from the same U.S. government that conducts routine electronic surveillance on its citizens.

“While formulating our counter terrorism law, we learned from the legislatures of other countries, including the U.S.,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters last month, adding that some of the bill’s provisions were similar to American telecommunications legislation.

Because of that, Obama’s criticism amounts to a “double standard,” he said, adding the Chinese bill “will not have any restriction on the lawful activities of enterprises.”

“It will not leave backdoors, and it will not impede freedom of expression online or the intellectual property rights of enterprises,” he said.

Cyberspying in disguise

As for cybersecurity legislation Obama signed in December, more the a few critics believe it will still allow massive government surveillance, with little parameters and little oversight.

What’s more, the legislation will indemnify technology companies if they share user/customer information with the government, even if there is no warrant or probable cause.

As with previous versions of the cybersecurity bill, the new legislation will, as reported by the Christian Science Monitor, “give liability protection to companies that share cyberthreat information with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including details on data on breaches, phishing attacks, and malware downloads. The law also calls upon DHS to automate data sharing with other federal government agencies and scrub any personal information included that’s not relevant to cybersecurity.”







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